Langholm 8, Selkirk 22

Selkirk keep shape in Milntown mud


 Michael Jaffray gets the ball away in sticky conditions in his 399th game for Selkirk - photo G Kinghorn

FRIDAY night’s “Southern Reporter” Border League fixture at Milntown might not have been the most exciting encounter of the weekend rugby programme, but both teams could not be faulted for effort. Selkirk showed a number of changes from the side that had won at Grangemouth the previous Saturday, with teenagers Steven Renwick and Keith Connor paired at lock, and Michael Jaffray taking over at scrum-half in his 399th senior appearance for the club.(The latter, having to admit that it is much harder to play scrum-half in muddy condions than it seemed over the last 18 years)

As expected, the well drilled home pack gave the visitors plenty of problems in the set piece, and with the heavy underfoot conditions making things difficult for both teams, play became bogged down for long periods. The difference between the two sides ultimately came down to Selkirk’s better penetration behind the scrum, where the visiting threequarters held the upper hand throughout the contest. Playing his final game for Selkirk before flying back to Colorado, wing Simon Murdoch signed off in style by scoring two typically slick tries. In fact the Christchurch player would have notched a hat-trick if he hadn’t fly-hacked the ball dead, when a simple tap over the line would have resulted in a certain score. The visitors’ other points came from tries by Alister Heatlie (who found himself in space on the left flank to dive over near the corner), and
Grant Ruthven (the prop scoring his first try in senior rugby after being driven over the line by his fellow forwards from a rolling maul).
Selkirk skipper Scott Tomlinson, wearing the number 10 jersey in the absence of Guy Blair, completed the visitors’ scoring by kicking a conversion.

SELKIRK — F. Harkness, C. Hunter, A. Lyall, , D. Rumney, S. Murdoch, S. Tomlinson, M. Jaffray, G. Ruthven, I. Walling, M. Murray, S. Renwick, K. Connor, N. Darling, R. Crockatt, A. Heatlie. Replacements (all used): E. Robbie, D. Lithgow, J. Macdonald, R. Conway.